Kiwis put 2013 nightmare behind them to lift Cup

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DOCKYARD, Bermuda (CMC) – Challengers Emirates Team New Zealand put a 2013 nightmare behind them when they defeated defenders Oracle Team USA by a crushing 7-1 margin in the Great Sound on Monday to lift sailing’s 35th America’s Cup.
The Kiwis were 8-1 up and one point from wresting the cup from Oracle in San Francisco four years ago before the Americans staged a dramatic recovery to win 9-8 in one of the greatest sporting comebacks of all time.
But there was no comeback this time as the Kiwis, who began the final – known as the match – with a one-point deficit after Oracle won the qualifiers, dominated their rivals, winning eight of the nine races to take the cup – known as the “Auld Mug” – back to New Zealand.
It was the Kiwis’ third cup success but first triumph since 2000.
They had match point in the first-to-seven final after winning both of Sunday’s races.
As the champagne flowed at dockside, skipper/tactician Glenn Ashby, the only survivor on the Kiwi boat from the 2013 meltdown, said: “It was a hard pill to swallow in San Francisco – this is great redemption.”
Peter Burling, 26, an Olympic gold medallist, became the youngest winning helmsman in the cup’s 166-year history. His flawless technique – and a faster boat in light winds – proved the difference.
Jimmy Spithill, Oracle’s 37-year-old Australian helmsman, got off to a perfect start in Monday’s race and held a three-second lead on the short reach to mark one.
But Burling quickly took command and the Kiwis crossed the winning line a commanding 55 seconds ahead.

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